When You Are In Great Affliction

10 I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.”
11 And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.”
12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Psalm 116:10-14 (NIV)

This is a continuation of my series in Psalm 116. In Verse 10 and 11, the writer expressed negative thoughts and confessions. This tells us that the writer is a human being. Sometimes we may face afflictions that are so oppressive that we start to think and talk negative. If you have done that, God does not want you to feel sorry or guilty about it. He wants you to repent. To repent is to turn around and in this case means stop thinking and talking negative. Replace those negative thoughts and confessions with positive thoughts and confession. This is what true repentance is all about.

In fact, this is what the writer did in Verse 12. He suddenly changed his focus on the goodness of God. The Lord has been so good to him that he wanted to find ways to repay the Lord. Do you notice that his mood has changed since this verse? He was no longer negative.

This is how we can change our moods, from bad to good moods. Just think of the good things the Lord has done for you. All of a sudden that great affliction does not seem that great anymore. You will begin to believe God is on your side and he is currently working behind the scenes to deliver you out of all your troubles.

He is going to turn your poverty into prosperity. Not only will all your debts be clear, you will have so much money that you can start to bless others with it. He is going to heal your supposedly “incurable” disease and make you even healthier than before you were infected. You will be fit enough to climb the highest mountain. This is how God delivers us from all our troubles and he is doing it while we are still in the land of the living.

In Verse 13, the writer wanted to lift his cup of salvation and called on the name of the Lord. What does that mean? We lift cups to drink what is inside it. The writer lifted his cup of salvation. This means he wanted to drink the stuff in it, which is salvation. Salvation will get inside him and be a part of him. Salvation is just another term for deliverance. The writer wanted to be deliverance-minded.

If you are deliverance-minded, you will think of the deliverance of God each time you face trouble. You will not be depressed, disappointed, get drunk, think negative, talk negative nor will you do any idiotic things no matter how big that trouble is. Why? You are convinced beyond doubt that your God is always on your side and he who is in you is always greater than he who is in the world. There is no problem that your God cannot solve. He is able and his greatest desire is to deliver you from all your troubles and prosper you beyond your wildest dreams. As I have mentioned before, he is going to do all these while you are still in the land of the living.

All we need to do is to trust in him. Verse 12 ends with the writer calling on the name of the Lord. What is the name of the Lord? I have written on this topic before. So, I will just paste the relevant part here.

JEHOVAH-JIREH: “The Lord will Provide.”
God is our provider. He is able and willing to provide everything we desire. Once we understand this, we will never be in lack. Through him we have all the prosperity that we can ever dream of. If you are facing a financial crisis right now, trust in JEHOVAH-JIREH to provide for you, with all the money you need to overcome your situation. As long as you believe and don’t give up, you will see the provision of God in your life.

JEHOVAH-ROPHE: “The Lord Who Heals”
He is our healer. You may be very sick right now. You can feel the sickness. Your doctors may have told you that your disease has reached the terminal stage where there is no cure. According to their professional opinion, you are going to die very soon. You have to understand that the reason why the doctors said what they have said is because they do not know who JEHOVAH-ROPHE is. At the Cross, Jesus took all our sickness and disease. He is more than willing to heal us if we allow him to. All we need to do is to believe in him. In the mind of God, no disease is incurable.

JEHOVAH-NISSI: “The Lord Our Banner.”
Banners were used in ancient warfare to rally and organize the troops for battles. If you are with your banner, you know for sure that you are not alone. You are fighting along with many others who are on your team. You will not feel discouraged but you will have the courage to charge forward and crush the enemy. Therefore, whenever you feel discouraged, turn to JEHOVAH-NISSI. He will give you the strength to fight on because he who is in you is greater than he who is in this world.

JEHOVAH-SHALOM: “The Lord Our Peace”
The situation around you can be very chaotic but you can still have peace inside you. Through JEHOVAH-SHALOM, we can have great peace that enables us to analyze the situation calmly and find the solution to our problems. We will not be agitated, stressed or panic. No matter how bad and impossible the negative situation appears to be, we have the peace and confidence that our God is greater than them.

So, as you can read, God did not choose his names at random. All the names have deep meanings and they are meant for our good.

In Verse 12, the writer was wondering how he should repay the Lord for his goodness. Verse 13 is his answer. We repay the God’s goodness by living lives of faith. Living a life of faith is the only way we can say “thank you” to the Lord. This is what the Lord expects from us.

That is not all. In Verse 14, the writer wanted to fulfill his vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. What vows did he make to the Lord? The psalm does not say but we can expect those to be true believer’s vows and not theological ones. Based on what we have read of the psalm we can be sure that the writer is a believer and not a theologian because not once did he call God a pervert.

In fact, this is how we can separate a true Christian from a theologian. A true Christian will never accuse God to be a pervert. We will never ask idiotic questions like “Why does God allow this disaster to take place?” because we know our God is not a pervert.

Since we know that the writer is not a theologian, we can then be sure that all his vows must be the vows of prosperity. This means the writer was determined to live in prosperity in every area of his life. He wanted to live in great peace, joy, good health, has a lot of money, a lot of life stocks like goats, sheep and cattle, has a big house and everything that he desires. Not only that, he wanted to enjoy his prosperity publicly. Why? He wanted to show everyone around him the goodness of his God.

This tells us that the best way to get people to be Christians is for us, the existing Christians to live in the prosperity God wants us to have. Christians who live in perfect prosperity is the greatest proof that the God of the Bible is the real God who produces real results. Do you want to the God’s living proof? I do. Count me in Lord. Let me be the living proof to show that you are the real God who produces real results.

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